President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law on March 11, 2021. The law generally provides financial relief for individuals, state and local governments, schools, businesses and for other purposes.
In addition, the law contains the following measures of special interest to employers and their employees:
- A subsidy for COBRA premiums, funded through employer tax credits
- Extension of employer tax credits for FFCRA employee leave voluntarily provided through Sept. 30, 2021
- Expansion of employee earnings eligible for the FFCRA tax credit
- Inclusion of testing and immunization as reasons for FFCRA leave
- Extension of $300 increase in weekly unemployment benefits
- Extension of weekly unemployment benefits for workers who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for these benefits
- Expansion of subsidy for ACA premiums
- Increase in DCAP contribution limits
- Extension and expansion of the employee retention tax credit
Employers should review the ARPA’s provisions to identify any requirements and opportunities that apply to them. Employers should also watch for official guidance on the implementation of the law.